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16 April 2010

Book Review: She-Rain by Michael Cogdill

Title: She-Rain
Author: Michael Cogdill
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Publication Date: March 31, 2010
Paperback: 360 pages
ISBN: 978-1600377020
Genre: Fiction


About the book

In the early 20th Century, a pair of North Carolina mountain children sow the seed of a love that becomes their only solace in the hard yet beautiful world they know. They grow it from steep ground of poverty, ignorance, and violence. A landscape so brutal it can kill hope long before claiming life.

Bloodshed years later finally sends Frank Locke on the run, deep into wilderness, abandoning his extraordinary love, Mary Lizbeth. When a whitewater river washes this desperate soul into the hands of Sophia, he discovers a luminous woman steeped in mystery, trapped in a tragically brilliant life. Far ahead of her time. Secreted from the world. As she awakens Frank's mind, they rise to meet a love that binds three people for a lifetime.

This love triangle forms a beauty no one sees coming. From the wilds of Appalachia, crossing nearly a century, it runs deep into a lush American fortune, and lives in letters of adoration and hope of the least expected.

In a rhapsody of Southern voices, mingling hilarity and sorrow, She-Rain speaks of lives soaring beyond heartbreak, fundamentalism, and self-destruction. Through the most graceful longing, two women in love with one man ultimately prove the power of human hearts to answer high callings. They show us all how to heal -- and thrive -- to the very end.

My Review:

The description of the word she-rain is one of the most beautiful word descriptions I have ever heard and someday I hope to catch a glimpse of she-rain, until then I have Michael Cogdill's description to carry with me. A Story of Hope: She-Rain is an exquisitely written novel filled with descriptive prose of near lyrical proportions interspersed with the proficient use of dialect between the various areas in which the story occurs. She-Rain is a novel to be savoured, slowly, to allow the words and people to become a part of the reader. Cogdill brings his readers to Oconee Gap, North Carolina, where some of the most intriguing, inspirational, colourful, and flawed characters live. The story is told primarily through the main character, Franklin Locke Junior, and through him we learn wisdom from his Pap, Woodfin Lloyd Warren, beauty from his Granny, May Ella Warren, and addiction and flawed behaviour through his father, Monroe Franklin Locke as well as his Uncle Ulysses "Useless" Tickman. Throughout the novel, Franklin learns of strength, faith, compassion, and forgiveness primarily through the women in his life, especially, his mother Dovie, Mary Lizbeth, and Sophia Procter. To share more would rob the reader of this brilliantly woven novel. It is sufficient to say She-Rain is a multi-dimensional novel of faith, abuse, fear, addiction, friendship, love, and hope which is written through the use of vivid imagery, characters the reader grows to adore or learns to understand over an 84-year period. She-Rain is a novel that draws the reader in, making the reader want to pause to absorb every nuance and feeling. She-Rain would make for a brilliant choice for a discussion group. If anyone has read this book, I would very much like to hear your thoughts.

About the Author:

Michael Cogdill is blessed as one of the most honored television storytellers in America. His cache of awards includes 24 Emmys and the National Edward R. Murrow for a broad range of achievement, from live reporting to long-form storytelling. His television credits as a journalist include CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and The Today Show, and Michael's interview history crosses a wide horizon: The Reverend Billy Graham, Dr. Mehmet Oz of Oprah fame, Dr. Henry Kissinger, Abby Hoffman, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator John McCain, Howard K. Smith, James Brown, Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops and many other newsmakers. His coverage credits include Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States.

Michael spent ten years writing She-Rain, letting it evolve into a world of fiction drawn from his upbringing in Western North Carolina but reaching far beyond. His other writing credits are Cracker the Crab and the Sideways Afternoon -- a children's motivational book, and a self-help volume, Raise the Haze. Michael makes his home in South Carolina with his wife, Jill (a publishing entrepreneur), and their second-generation golden retriever, Maggie. He's currently working on his second novel.

For more information, view Michael Cogdill's Website.

I received a complimentary copy of She-Rain by Michael Cogdill from FSB Media. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



1 comment:

susan said...

The title and the author's background intrigue me. I'm adding it to my list!